1. ITV Report

X-Factor fans prepare for return of hit talent show

The X-Factor judging panel (L-R): Simon Cowell, Cheryl Fernandez-Versini, Mel B and Louis Walsh Photo: Tom Dymond/Thames TV/PA Wire

Fans of The X-Factor are preparing for the return of the hit TV talent-show tonight with a brand new line-up of contestants and judges.

Cheryl Fernandez-Versini - formerly Cheryl Cole - makes a return to the judging panel for the first time since 2011.

She will sit alongside former Spice Girl Mel B, Simon Cowell and X-Factor stalwart Louis Walsh.

For the first time since 2008, contestants as young at 14 will be allowed to take part in the show.

Get the latest gossip and updates on the X-Factor website

X Factor judge Cheryl Fernandez-Versini said Simon Cowell had to Credit: ITV/PA Wire

Speaking ahead of the launch of the new series, Cheryl said she took to co-judge Mel B immediately.

Mel's great actually, we bonded instantly, she cracks me up laughing.

– Cheryl Fernandez-Versini

But she admitted it was "hell" putting contestants through the show's six chair challenge - which was only introduced last year.

The challenge allows the judges to swap contestants in and out of the chairs before deciding who goes to the judges' houses stage.

The six chair challenge was hell for me. I didn't enjoy it one little bit but as I progressed I got to understand what it was about and I knew that in the end I had to take through the six people I believed had variety and had talent and I could work with well.

– Cheryl Fernandez-Versini
Judge Melanie Brown wipes away a tear during one of the auditions Credit: ITV/PA Wire

X-Factor fans were recently asked to vote of their favourite moment in the show's history.

Despite tough competition from contestants Matt Cardle and Sam Bailey, viewers picked 2009 X-Factor winner Joe McElderry's first audition as their top moment.

Find out the other Top 10 X-Factor moments here

For the first time, viewers will be able to vote for the acts that should go through using a dedicated app.

The X-Factor App also promises to provide all the latest backstage news, photos and gossip as well as live streaming of the show.

The X-Factor starts at 8pm on ITV